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Portfolios for Art and Design courses

Clearing portfolio guidance for Art and Design programmes at Bath Spa University

Please send your online electronic portfolio of creative work demonstrating your individual self-initiated practice and interests, as well as your involvement in course/project work.

We look for evidence of your interest in the relevant subject area and how it relates to your own work, how you develop and work through your ideas, and how your practice might benefit from a course of study at Bath Spa University.

Your portfolio should contain between 10-15 pieces of work and be available as a PDF document that can be attached and sent via email to bsuclearing@bathspa.ac.uk.

Please include: 

  • Your full name
  • The course you are interested in
  • Your UCAS Personal ID in the subject line of the email.

Please be assured that the guidelines are not intended to be prescriptive. We do expect, and encourage, variations in individual presentations, reflecting the variety of backgrounds and experiences of our applicants.

Some courses may also require an interview, and you will be notified of this as soon as possible following review of your portfolio.

Please find some further tips on what to include by course below.

We look forward to receiving your portfolio!

Guidance by course

BA (Hons) Creative Arts Practice

Your portfolio should evidence a curiosity and energy for your intended subjects of study. We are looking for a sense of enquiry and experimentation. Due to the multidisciplinary nature of the course you should include examples of some or all of the following:

  • Drawings
  • Paintings
  • Sculptures
  • Ceramics
  • Graphic designs
  • Textiles
  • Photographs
  • Prints
  • Video or animations

Please also include:

  • Photographic evidence of sketchbooks
  • Colour studies
  • Written notes
  • Self-initiated work and/or project work.

BA (Hons) Digital Animation

You will be expected to present a portfolio of creative work. The work should demonstrate your creative experiences to date, your interests in animation, and work that stands as a foundation to studying animation (digital, analogue and creative thinking skills).

The Digital Animation course covers a variety of areas, and defines animation in a broad sense, ranging from traditional animation to the visual aspects of apps and computer games. We are looking for students from a range of backgrounds who are open-minded and looking for challenges.

A typical portfolio might include (but is not restricted to):

  • Drawings, sketches, painting, CAD etc.
  • Works using software (e.g. still image, moving image, sound, 3D computer modelling)
  • Digital video or animation, as quicktime files/mp4 or on YouTube/Vimeo
  • Include your planning and research phases via sketchbooks or blogs/journals (please provide links)
  • Work from non art and design related subjects that might be useful or interesting to talk about and relevant to digital animation
  • Self-initiated creative work

BA (Hons) Interior Design

Your portfolio of creative work should include any or all of the following:
  • Three dimensional work - we are keen to see and hear about your engagement with making and how you think three-dimensionally. This may be from any 3D area such as ceramics, wood, product design, sculpture, mixed–media constructions, constructed textiles etc.
  • Drawing and mark making in any media – we value both digital and analogue drawing. Drawing is an important part of the course and can be used as an exploration tool as well as represent ideas and form
  • Creative ideas and design work in any area, for instance textiles, graphics, painting, photography print, colour work, CAD etc.
  • Sketch/ideas books - these are very important so that we can see how you work through ideas and your design process. We are very interested in seeing how you approach a creative brief, and in your creative process, as well as resolved and well-presented outcomes
  • A sample of your critical writing
Please organise your ideas carefully, sometimes showing us your best work first is better than putting it in chronological order.

BA (Hons) Fashion Design

All Fashion Design applicants are asked to upload a mini portfolio. Based on this, we may need to invite for an interview - either in person or over Skype.

Your portfolio should show your skills, personality, potential, experimentation and commitment. We are looking for evidence of curiosity and energy for the subject.

If you are not on a course where fashion design is an option, include a personal design project that shows your design process and ideas for fashion.

Consider the layout and presentation of your work making it easy to understand. Work should be clearly organised and presented.

Folios should include:

  • Contemporary and fashion awareness
  • Ideas for fashion
  • Drawing skills
  • Personal expression
  • Creativity
  • Use of colour
  • Research
  • Fabric/textiles knowledge
  • Evidence of project work within the subject area.

We would like to see work in both sketchbook form as well as in your final portfolio, so that we can see the progression of initial ideas into your final design outcome. The process is as important as the outcome.

In terms of self edit work, we are looking for quality over quantity.

BA (Hons) Fine Art

Your portfolio should evidence a curiosity and energy for your intended subjects of study. We are looking for a sense of enquiry and experimentation. Due to the multidisciplinary nature of the course you should include examples of some or all of the following:

  • Drawings
  • Paintings
  • Sculptures
  • Ceramics
  • Graphic designs
  • Textiles
  • Photographs
  • Prints
  • Video or animations

Please also include:

  • Photographic evidence of sketchbooks
  • Colour studies
  • Written notes
  • Self-initiated work and/or project work.

BA (Hons) Furniture and Product Design

Your portfolio of creative work should include any or all of the following: 
  • Three dimensional work. We are keen to see and hear about your engagement with making. This may be from any 3D area such as ceramics, wood, product design, sculpture, mixed–media constructions, constructed textiles etc. and in the form of models, experimentation, prototypes and/or final pieces. 
  • Creative ideas and design work in any area. These need not be three dimensional. For instance textiles, graphics, painting, photography print, colour work, CAD etc. 
  • Sketch/ideas books. We are very interested in seeing how you approach a creative brief, and in your creative process, as well as resolved and well presented outcomes. 
  • Drawing and mark making in any media – we value both digital and analogue drawing. 
  • A sample of your critical writing 
  • Please organise your ideas carefully, sometimes showing us your best work first is better than putting it in chronological order.  

BA (Hons) Graphic Communication

Please include any or all of the following:

  • Drawing - examples of observed drawing in the studio and on location; together with examples of expressive drawing dealing with ideas and interpretation
  • Projects - evidence of project work in the area of creative problem solving and visual communication, together with your roughs and developmental work. A short summary of the brief would be helpful
  • Self-initiated work - exercises or projects you have undertaken for yourself out of personal interest or enthusiasm for a particular subject
  • Research - some examples of work should be accompanied by evidence of any research or investigation that you have undertaken in preparation for the project
  • Written work - examples of writing, for example essays or other analyses/reports or case studies
  • Materials and media - we are interested to see how you have worked with particular media, for example; photography or printmaking. Your eligibility for the course however will not be disadvantaged if these facilities have not been available to you.

BA (Hons) Photography

Please include any or all of the following:

  • Evidence of project work in the area of photographic practice
  • Roughs and developmental work in your work journals (or other formats you have used)
  • You may present work of one or many photographic genres
  • A short summary of the project brief would be helpful, but not essential
  • Self-initiated work exercises or projects you have undertaken for yourself out of personal interest or enthusiasm for a particular subject
  • Research - some examples of work should be accompanied by evidence of any research or investigation that you have undertaken in preparation for the project.

BA (Hons) Textile Design for Fashion and Interiors

Please include any or all of the following:

  • Photographic evidence of sketch and or ideas books
  • Drawings
  • Colour work
  • Painting
  • Any creative ideas, design work in any area
  • Your own photography
  • Self initiated projects. 

These need not be textiles. For instance, you may have made jewellery, clothes, etc. If you do have any evidence of textile work, such as print, knit, weave or stitch embroidery, please do include this in your portfolio.

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